Local Pubs, Restaurants & Tea Rooms
We are spoilt for choice in this part of the world when it comes to food. With a huge array of locally-sourced produce from Ruby Red Devon Beef, Exmoor lamb, Stoke Rivers reared Gloucester Old Spot pork, or free range organic chicken and eggs, through to locally grown fruit and vegetables, cheeses, farm-house clotted cream and home-baked cakes and teas, there’s something to suit every pocket and taste.
Here are just a few ideas to whet your appetite …
The nearest pubs to Stoke Rivers are the New Inn at Goodleigh (lovely cosy friendly pub, huge choice of excellent home-cooked food), the Black Venus at Challacombe (great pub full of character and good food), the White Hart, Bratton Fleming and the Station Inn, Blackmoor Gate, the Fox & Goose, Parracombe (excellent, locally-sourced produce, particularly good fish).
Barnstaple is just a stone’s throw away. In addition to all the standard Prezzo, Pizza Hut, etc, there’s a great little family owned Italian restaurant – Giovanni’s. There are some good Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants and several lovely bistro-type restaurants including The Bank , Clayton’s and The Glass House (which is particularly good when the weather’s nice with its roof top terrace).
Just 15 minutes drive from Stoke Rivers is Woody Bay – why not take a drive to Lynton and Lynmouth, drive through the magnificent Valley of the Rocks, walk to Heddon’s Mouth and work up an appetite for lunch at the historic Hunters Inn – followed perhaps by a ride on the steam train at Woody Bay.
If you just fancy a walk and a cream tea, Waters Meet is just 20 minutes drive away; follow the footpath through beautiful woodland, past streams and waterfalls and then indulge in the National Trust tea room. Arlington Court (also National Trust) is just ten minutes away – meander around the house and grounds, take a horse and carriage ride, then treat yourself to some of their home made cake in their tea room.
For a day out, why not head to Ilfracombe and visit the beautiful harbour, take a dip in the sea at Tunnels Beaches (amazing re-vamped Victorian bathing spot), followed perhaps by lunch or dinner at Damien Hirst’s swish restaurant No 11 The Quay, or, one of my favourites – the lovely French restaurant, La Gendarmerie.
Still with a sea-side theme in mind, why not head to the award-winning fish and chip restaurant, Squires Fish Restaurant in Braunton. Alternatively, I recommend Sands Restaurant at Saunton Sands, a great little bistro, right on one of the most amazing beaches in UK.
Another idea is to head south and explore the pretty fishing village of Appledore, have lunch in one of the many lovely restaurants there, or perhaps the Boathouse in Instow (fantastic fresh fish and meat).
If you fancy escaping the tourists, head for Exmoor. One of the best places for Sunday lunch is the Sportsman, Sandway, Exmoor, where they always have an excellent carvery at a great price. Or, perhaps go to The Royal Oak, Withypool, in the heart of Exmoor – a fantastic old pub with oodles of character, delicious food and you might even bump into the future King! For more ideas on Exmoor Pubs, see my link to Exmoor Pubs and Walks, which features every pub on Exmoor!
Last, but not least, why not push the boat out and book a table at the Michelin-starred pub/restaurant, the Mason’s Arms at Knowstone. Owned and run by Mark Dodson, this is THE place to go for special occasions.
These are just a few ideas to illustrate the variety of options on our doorstep. I can help you with more suggestions and am happy to give you telephone numbers for any of these places or to make reservations on your behalf.